Lakewood Theatre Company
April 13, 2005
I confess: I’ve loved going to Lakewood. Maybe it’s the musicals. Maybe it’s the comfy, high-tech theater. Maybe its crowd makes me feel young. Its new season, however, feels old and tired. Especially for a new generation of audiences: What’s the appeal? What’s the relevancy? Where does this take us?
Bye Bye Birdie
“Bye Bye Birdie tells the story of a rock and roll icon who visits the small town of Sweet Apple to kiss one adoring fan goodbye on The Ed Sullivan Show before he enters the army.” Never knew the appeal of this show, but it’s probably of a certain age.
The Music Man
“Fast-talking traveling salesman cons people of River City, Iowa into buying instruments and uniforms for boys’ band he vows to organize, despite the fact he doesn’t know trombone from treble clef!” Perennial favorite with role for everyone, but, like Birdie, easily stale if not rethought. Try different key, figuratively speaking.
“In final chapter of Neil Simon's acclaimed autobiographical trilogy, Eugene has returned from the army and tries to break into professional comedy writing. Family is upset to hear comedy rendition of their trials and tribulations.” OK, sure, maybe … just not Simon’s funniest; will take effort to keep it light.
The Lion in Winter
“The brilliant and sweeping love and power struggle of the storied English King Henry II and his Queen, Eleanor of Acquitaine set in the 12th century.” I don’t know this show well, so my immediate, though uneducated, reaction is … why? Maybe costume drama for the sake of costume drama?
The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
“Mayhem, bodies and comedy, oh my! A spoofy and spiffy whodunit filled with enormous fun.” Again, not a show I’m familiar with, but this sounds as if it would have to be done with just the right style to be more than just community theatre comedy. Still, sounds rather forgettable.
“Dolly Gallagher Levi, a New York matchmaker has been enlisted to find a mate for Horace Vandergelder, a merchant from Yonkers, New York. Along the way, Dolly decides to match him up with none other than herself!” Classic, costume comedy. I wonder who will take a star turn as Dolly?